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Pistons host Lob City

Essentials

  • Teams: Los Angeles Clippers (28-14) at Detroit Pistons (17-23)
  • Date: January 20, 2014
  • Time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Television: FSD

What to look for

The Los Angeles Clippers might just be the most underrated and overrated team in the league at the same time. Indeed, once Doc Rivers relocated to the City of Angels, it was expected that he would transform the team into a juggernaut worthy of the top spot in the West.

Instead, the Clips started out the season by losing to the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night. Furthermore, at this time last season, Blake Griffin and company had just completed an improbable 17-game winning streak with Vinny Del Negro at the helm.

Hence, it’s difficult to say the team got better when it would appear as though they are essentially in the same spot as last season sans the consecutive victories.

Ah but things are in fact not quite as similar. Lob City barely looked competent in 2012-13 without Chris Paul. Indeed, they played like a team with no organization or leadership, which led to nights where the opposition took them to school.

This time around, Los Angeles is a better team. To be fair, the upgraded roster certainly helps.

The Clippers added some shooters that also masquerade as competent perimeter defenders. Consequently, Rivers’ group has more spacing on the floor and can run the offense through Griffin.

The big man can play in the high and low post, where he does damage with jumper, ball-handling and passing. What’s more, he is just as deadly in the pick-and-roll because he is a great finisher at the rim.

There has been a slow evolution to his game whereby the Clippers are no longer lost without Paul. The Clippers outscore opponents by 6.9 points per 100 possessions with Griffin on the court, which is the equivalent of the Houston Rockets.

In other words, Griffin alone helps L.A. boast one of the top records in the conference. The highflyer is not alone though. This is where Rivers’ impact has been felt the most.

The team is statistically in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Those numbers can at times be misleading, but they seem to be just about on point with the Clippers.

The team has demonstrated a good discipline on defense and a belief in trusting each other on offense. The former Boston Celtics’ coach has implemented his system and is reaping the benefits despite the absence of its best player.

As the Detroit Pistons host the Clips today, the thing to pay attention to is not the highlights, but rather the team play. They might break out a few isolations and highlights every now and then, but make no mistake, this is no longer a one-man show.

Read about the Clippers

Clipperblog.

45 Comments

  • Jan 20, 201412:15 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Please for the love of God don’t start Greg this game….we need a fast start and I’m predicting a big game from out backcourt they are due

  • Jan 20, 201412:40 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    You mean if you just add shooters and a competent coach, a talented but limited power forward can excel?

  • Jan 20, 201412:46 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Basically….
    I read that Barns has been struggling in GS…and they are in a win now mode….i wonder just wonder is it possible 

  • Jan 20, 201412:56 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    And they want a starting quality pg…Stuckey makes a lot of sense…Expiring contract…he can play along side of curry or run the pg in spurts…
    He is having on of his best seasons…

  • Jan 20, 20141:20 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Drummond should defend blake

  • Jan 20, 20141:25 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    DRUMMOND with a post move!

  • Jan 20, 20141:29 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Good start so far…

  • Jan 20, 20141:51 pm
    by James

    Reply

    I just cannot see Monroe as the answer to this team’s starting power forward in the future. Cheeks, God bless him, is just collecting a check, his coaching intelligence is minimal at best.

  • Jan 20, 20141:58 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    He should have sat Drummond in the last minute up 2 points….then that 2nd qrt line up I didn’t like…and Greg can not defend Blake….but as always 3 point shooting killing us

  • Jan 20, 20142:00 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Yeah, he’s embarrassing Monroe. Not unusual tho 

  • Jan 20, 20142:11 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Good thing Stuckey been playing really good and might land us something via trade

  • Jan 20, 20142:18 pm
    by James

    Reply

    The great enigma better known as Stuckey, lol, hats off to him tho, he is out there balling as good as anyone on the team along with Drummond.

  • Jan 20, 20142:23 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    .im shocked that Blake is dominating Greg this way…didn’t see that coming…(Sarcasm)
    Cheek kept Drummond in the game with 1 minute left in the first qrt…and got a cheap foul….Doc Rivers pulled Jordan protecting him from cheap fouls…. coaching lol
    Greg has no value in this game…he is too slow to defend or keep up with Jordan or Griffin and on offense they are too athletic for his spin moves…
    Drummond made a nice spin move in the post against Jordan…and we never went back to it…
    It’s just coaching….

  • Jan 20, 20142:31 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Coaching indeed, as well as too many limited-effectiveness players. KCP still can’t finish a break if a defender is within 3 feet of him, Singler is akin to Monroe speed-wise. Gonna be a long, aggravating season.

  • Jan 20, 20143:00 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    I’m not shocked at the score…I feel like a trade happens this werk

  • Jan 20, 20143:01 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    This week

  • Jan 20, 20143:08 pm
    by James

    Reply

    I often wondered if old man Ford actually watched any of the lions games,  I’m starting to wonder the same thing about Gores. The product on the floor as simply not good. I cringe every time I read an article stating that the Pistons aren’t shopping Monroe or even listening to offers for him. CV is still here, JJ, Datome????? 

  • Jan 20, 20143:09 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    We need a shooter in the game

  • Jan 20, 20143:10 pm
    by James

    Reply

    I would venture to say that their best dead-eye shooter is CV.

  • Jan 20, 20143:10 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    I’m thinking we will have either Gordon from the Pelicans,Barnes or Affalo 

  • Jan 20, 20143:17 pm
    by James

    Reply

    Barnes only comes in a package consisting of Monroe and some other filler players. Trust and believe Joe D overvalues Monroe, just like he did Rip, Tay, Chauncey and Ben in the last decade. He refused to trade them when he could have actually got something good.

    • Jan 20, 20143:58 pm
      by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

      Reply

      Nah they’d rather have Stuckey… then it would also give them cap room to go after a better fit or another big in the summer…

  • Jan 20, 20143:20 pm
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    Wow! 40 shots total from just 2 players? This is at 55% shooting. Talk about coaching.

  • Jan 20, 20143:20 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

     It seems like our best line up is
    .. Drummond, Smith, Pope, Stuckey Singler

  • Jan 20, 20143:25 pm
    by duke

    Reply

    Jennings, much like Starbury and Franchise will be out of the league soon if he doesn’t change his game.  I believe he could lead the NBA in assist if he wanted to but for whatever reason he elects to shoot high volume low percentage shots. Granted, in some games he had to jack it up, because we just haven’t established an offensive identity. Dang, I wish we’d just pound teams on the block and make them adjust rather than what we’re doing now. I agree a trade needs to happen but for whom or what I am not sure, loosing contracts would be good, but are we tanking the season already? Getting Chandler in some type of swap would be ideal to me. Finally, I’m lost on the rotations, someone help me out?

  • Jan 20, 20143:25 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Imagine that Good defense again, without Greg on the Floor…

  • Jan 20, 20143:26 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    This is definitely the best defensive lineup. But we knew that since the beginning of the season against Memphis when Stuckey and KCP singlehandedly won the Memphis game and were promptly removed from the game by Cheeks.

  • Jan 20, 20143:29 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    If you bench Jennings for Stuckey I’ll live with benching Monroe for Smith.
    As a coach, if defense is first, then be consistent with it.

    • Jan 20, 20143:59 pm
      by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

      Reply

      If I could only bench one or the other it would be Greg…

  • Jan 20, 20143:32 pm
    by James

    Reply

    And you draw up NO PLAY for a 3 pt attempt?

  • Jan 20, 20143:33 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    • Jan 20, 20144:02 pm
      by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

      Reply

      They are not giving up a first…

  • Jan 20, 20143:33 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    I’m proud of the Pistons for not rolling over…but like I said Greg would.not be effective in this game

  • Jan 20, 20143:39 pm
    by James

    Reply

    If he’s only effective against lesser talent, how will he ever perform in the playoffs when there is no lesser talent to play against?

  • Jan 20, 20143:40 pm
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    There you have it folks. Another poor coaching adjustment.
    If we played today’s closer earlier, we could have made it.

    • Jan 20, 20143:43 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      I don’t know why they didn’t go for hacking DeAndre…he missed all his free throws. 
       

      • Jan 20, 20143:48 pm
        by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

        Reply

        I was waiting for that we were only down 9 with right under 3 minutes

        • Jan 20, 20143:56 pm
          by mixmasta

          Reply

          I was waiting for certain strategies but somehow I knew it was never happening. I wonder why.
           
          /cheeks_sarcarsm

          • Jan 20, 20144:01 pm
            by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

            Cheeks is still playing with line ups….and we are halfway in the season…

  • Jan 20, 20143:44 pm
    by Parsons

    Reply

    Man am I glad we run 3 bigs or we’d be getting killed inside and we’d be losing on the glass too 44 to 30. If we’re not rebounding, not protecting the paint, and not winning games why run 3 bigs? Its not working. Halfway into the season is a strong enough sample size to know this isn’t going to work. Probably time to move on before we end up paying Monroe 16 mill to be a glorified 6th man and Stuckey 8 mill to be a role player.

  • Jan 20, 20143:46 pm
    by Parsons

    Reply

    6 points, 3 rebounds, nice effort Monroe. I respect effort like that.

    • Jan 20, 20144:16 pm
      by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

      Reply

      dont forget his solid defense
       

      • Jan 20, 20144:26 pm
        by Parsons

        Reply

        Right he really held Blake to under 30.

        I should give Jennings credit too. I LOVED the effort. 0 points, 6 assists, 0 rebounds, and 0 defense. Few more games like this and we won’t have to worry about losing our pick.

  • Jan 20, 20143:46 pm
    by ITS OFFICIAL I HATE CHEEKS

    Reply

    Greg needs to be traded or come off the Bench…he makes all the rotations slow and he can defend his man…
    Josh Smith is clearly playing at a higher level than Greg is right now…and we can actually space the floor with Pope and Singler together….i still like Stuckey off the bench…
    But we waited to long to make the right adjustments
    Then again Riddick and Crawford combined for 47 off the bench….its time to make whatever moves now before the all star break 

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